Disk Defragmenter Overview
Regularly running the Disk Defragmenter utility improves system performance. When the computer saves files, it fragments the files into pieces and saves the pieces in various locations on the hard drive. Windows takes longer to access files because it requires additional disk drive reads to find the pieces.
The process of finding and consolidating fragmented files is called defragmentation. Disk Defragmenter consolidates the fragments to one location on the disk drive. As a result, Windows accesses files faster, and new files are less likely to be fragmented.
The next steps explains how to run Disk Defragmenter in the Microsoft Windows Vista and Microsoft Windows XP operating systems. The final step explains how to troubleshoot unexpected conditions with Disk Defragmenter.
Run Disk Defragmenter
- Click Start, click All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Defragmenter.
- In the User Account Control window, click Continue.
- In the Disk Defragmenter window, select or deselect Run on a schedule. Depending on your usage habits, schedule Disk Defragmenter to run weekly or monthly. (To change the defragmentation schedule, click the Modify schedule button, select the desired schedule options, and click OK.).
- Click Defragment Now.
- After the defragmentation is complete, click Close.
Run Disk Defragmenter
- Click the Start button, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click to select Disk Defragmenter to display the Disk Defragmenter window.
- From the Disk Defragmenter window, click to highlight the drive to be defragmented.
- Click Defragment. Depending on the size of the drive, it may take several minutes for the defragmentation process to complete.
Do not open any other programs at this time.
- When the Disk Defragmenter window appears after the defragment process is complete, click Close.
Troubleshooting Disk Defragmenter
If you encounter problems running Disk Defragmenter, try the following:
- Exit other programs before beginning disk defragmentation, including programs running in the background.
- Disconnect from the Internet and then turn off anti-virus and anti-spyware programs.
- Log on as Administrator or as a member of the Administrators group to run Disk Defragmenter.
- Check to see if the computer is on a network. Network policy may prevent you from running Disk Defragmenter. Remove the computer from the network to correct this condition.
- Ensure that the hard disk being defragmented has at least 15% free space.
If the message Drive Contents Have Changed: Restarting
appears while running Disk Defragmenter, refer to the Microsoft
Knowledge Base Article: "'Drive's Contents Have Changed: Restarting' Message When You Use Disk Defragmenter"
Article ID: 310541.
If any other error message appears while running Disk Defragmenter, check the hard drive for errors. For more information, refer to the Dell Knowledge Base Article: "How Do I Perform Hard Disk Error Checking in Microsoft Windows XP" Article ID: 120275.
For more information about troubleshooting the Disk Defragmenter, refer to the Microsoft Support, or view some of the articles below.
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